As if at this time next year it’s going to pop up again and remind me.
A month or six weeks ago the first of my left in the ground Dahlias started to appear. They were all left in the ground, the only ones in pots were a couple I’d bought as bare tubers. I’d already started doing nightly slug patrols, paying particular attention to the Dahlias and in most cases it seemed to be working. It became clear that it wasn’t working for all of them though, with three plants making no headway at all against the onslaught. I dug them up, keeping an intact rootball as far as I could, put them into 10 litre pots with some old compost filling any spaces. Three weeks spent in my poly tunnel saw them 3-4 inches high, the weather dryer and slug numbers falling rapidly, so back into the ground they went. They seem barely to have noticed and are growing away nicely, albeit some way behind the ones that didn’t need or get the treatment.
It’s the ones the slugs encounter first when they head out from their daytime hiding places that are most vulnerable and I was concerned that when I moved the worst affected plants, the next nearest would be in the firing line. It didn’t seem to happen, maybe by then they were far enough on to take a little munching.
I cut back my Euphorbia mellifera on 13th May. Now, a month later, new growth is starting to develop. When I pruned it, I left the basal inch or so of the mainly two year old shoots that I was removing, thinking that regrowth would come from the dormant buds on the stubs. It hasn’t, instead it is mostly coming from the main framework of the plant around the base of the shoots. I could have taken the shoots off flush and not lost any regrowth, but also not have been left with masses of 1-2 inch dead stubs. I’ll know next time and should have known this, if I’d taken the trouble to see where the shoots I was cutting down had arisen from.
I don’t seem to have a record of when they were sown but last year I had seedlings of Rhodochiton atrosanguineus too late in the summer for them to get planted out. As a consequence, around ten plants were kept in a frost protected greenhouse in 1 litre pots until this spring. They never entirely stopped growing and it took an hour or so of careful unravelling to disentangle them without too much damage before planting them out in the garden. They were already in flower and have just got better since, while making good growth. I must search for a label, see if there is a sowing date, then repeat the process for next year.
Finally, a cactus. Taken after I posted my saturday six and lasting only two or three days, so I’d be cheating to include it next week. At least the header Iris will still be flowering next week, the cacti are fleeting in the extreme.